At the end of paragraph 7.2, add the words “and urges the Palestinian National Council to intervene with the Hamas authorities to stop executions in Gaza and to abolish the death penalty in the Palestinian Penal Code, in line with the commitment entered into under the partnership for democracy”.
After paragraph 7.8, add the following paragraph: “regrets that some members of the Palestinian Legislative Council are detained by the Israeli forces.”
The Parliamentary Assembly is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and has been a driving force in abolishing the death penalty and in eradicating this inhuman punishment from almost all of Europe. Repeatedly, the Assembly has urged Council of Europe observer States “to join the growing consensus of democratic countries that protect human rights and human dignity by abolishing the death penalty” (Resolution 1807 (2011) “The death penalty in Council of Europe member and observer States: a violation of human rights”). The same applies to partners for democracy and it is important to strongly reiterate the Assembly’s call to the Palestinian National Council to abolish the death penalty both in practice and in law.
By becoming a partner for democracy on 4 October 2011, the Palestinian National Council committed itself to “continuing [its] efforts to raise the awareness of the public authorities and the main players in politics and civil society of the need to make progress in the discussion of issues relating to the abolition of the death penalty and to encourage the authorities concerned to maintain the de facto moratorium that has been established on executions … since 2005”.Note
In its Resolution 1830 (2011), the Assembly added that “abolishing the death penalty set out in the Penal Code, going beyond the de facto moratorium on executions which has been effective, at least in the West Bank, since 2005” is of key importance for strengthening democracy, the rule of law and the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Palestinian territories.
While a de facto moratorium is in force in the West Bank since 2005, courts in Gaza continue to hand down death penalty sentences and Hamas authorities continue to carry out executions, as noted in the draft resolution based on Mr Xuclà’s report.
The Assembly should therefore once again strongly urge the Palestinian National Council to abolish the death penalty in the Palestinian Penal Code.
This amendment aims to point out that several members of the Palestinian Legislative Council are detained by Israeli forces, which may also have impacts on the restoration of the functioning of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Also referring to the decision adopted unanimously by the Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) at its 197th session (Geneva, 21 October 2015), it is noted that “while most of the parliamentarians concerned were released upon serving their sentences, many were subsequently rearrested, sometimes several times, and placed in administrative detention”. Therefore, the committee remains deeply concerned that the Israeli authorities are reluctant to show restraint and respect for the parliamentary mandate which the legislators concerned were given in the elections.